Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in the Baltimore Sun

“Mitt Romney has been treated rather roughly, even unfairly, by the national media,” suggests UMBC political science professor Thomas Schaller in his latest Baltimore Sun column. The article, “Worry about Romney’s positions, not his gaffes,” argues that it’s time for the national media and voters to focus on Romney’s policy platforms, rather than his relatability.

“What Mr. Romney would actually do in the White House matters more than how personally awkward he may be,” writes Schaller, “And on this count, his long list of social issue flip-flops and his troubling economic proposals are sufficient cause for concern.”

NYT Blogger Nate Silver to Forecast Election in Lecture at UMBC (4/10)

New York Times blogger Nate Silver will forecast the presidential election and discuss his forthcoming book in a special lecture (with Q&A) on April 10, 4:00 p.m., in the UMBC library gallery.

Silver is a statistician, elections expert and writer, named one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People by TIME Magazine. He emerged as a national figure during the 2008 U.S. presidential election, when his website correctly predicted the winner of all 35 Senate races and the presidential race in 49 of 50 states. In 2010, Politico‘s editor-in-chief listed Silver as one of “The Most Powerful People on Earth” in Forbes Magazine.

This event is part of UMBC’s spring 2012 Social Sciences Forum lecture series.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in Patch

Patch reports that nearly 60,000 people turned out for early voting in Maryland, March 24-29, but that accounts for just 1.88% of eligible voters statewide. UMBC public policy professor and chair Donald Norris, quoted in the story, suggests these early votes will have little impact on the overall election turnout.

“Virtually nothing improves voting turnout except when people are really, really excited about what’s going on in a campaign,” Norris said. The GOP presidential primary candidates are now trying to energize Republican voters across the state through local speaking appearances.

Donald Norris, Public Policy, in AP Story

The GOP presidential primary is drawing more attention in Maryland than usual, AP reports, given the protracted fight for the nomination among the top candidates. Anticipating a low primary election turn-out among Maryland Republicans, which already comprise a relatively small group, former Gov. Ehrlich suggests the results are “difficult to predict.”

Don Norris, UMBC professor and chair of public policy, disagrees. “I think it’s going to go for Romney,” he says, “because even the base in Maryland is not as conservative of a base as…some other states.”

KAL, UMBC Artist-in-Residence, on Kojo Nnamdi Show

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, editorial cartoonist for The Economist and UMBC artist-in-residence, was featured on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show last week (interview begins 19 minutes in). KAL discussed his coverage of the 2012 presidential election, the power of caricature and global importance of freedom of expression, and his own career trajectory as a cartoonist.

At UMBC KAL advises student bloggers in their coverage of current events and politics on USDemocrazy.